On my way home from the office yesterday evening, someone stops me and asks if I know where the Metro stop is. I say I don’t, but point to the Metro signs across the street and tell him I’m pretty sure it’s there. A moment later, a couple comes up behind me, and the man proceeds to confirm for the tourist that Metro entrance is, in fact, in the same place as the Metro signs.

The light changes; I cross the street. Behind me, I hear the man say to the woman, “What?! You’re always telling me to be nicer to tourists. I was nice.”

“I’m from New York,” I say, turning around. “We eat tourists for breakfast.”

They laugh; I continued walking, quickly, as you do in New York.

At the next light, a young woman wearing a Macy’s name tag stops me and asks if I know where the McDonald’s is. I tell her I’m sorry but I don’t. Then, noticing the couple is still behind me, I say, “You know, he might know.”

The guy plays along. “Might know what?”

“She’s looking for a McDonald’s,” I say.

“Or a Dunkin’ Donuts,” she adds.

“You want a donut?” he asks. “Astro Donuts is right down the street, and they’re still open. You ever been to Astro…” his eyes flick down to her name tag “Diamond?”

She shakes her head.

“Nevermind. You can’t handle Astro, Diamond. It’s fried chicken on top of fried donuts with more fried donuts on top. It’s intense.”

Diamond nods.

“Let’s find you a Dunkin’ Donuts,” he says, whipping out his phone. “We’re at 12 and G, hey, there’s one right here, oh nevermind it closed at nine.”

At this point, I’m about in stitches, as is the woman with him. In fact, I’m enjoying this so much that when the light changes, I stay on this side of the street.

Diamond just looks sad that the Dunkies is closed.

“Hey, don’t worry,” he says. “We’ll find you another. Look, there’s one on 7 and F that closes at 10.”

Diamond looks doubtful. “I dunno if I can get there in time.”

“Of course you can,” he says. “That’s like, five blocks. Look, we’re on 12. You go 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, that’s five blocks, and turn right. You can make that in 45 minutes. I could crawl that far in 45 minutes.”

Diamond still isn’t sure about this.

“Look,” he says. “The subway’s right there. You could get on, ride one stop, get off at Gallery Place, and you’re there.  Six minutes. But then you have to spend two dollars. You don’t really want to have to spend two dollars, do you?”

Diamond shakes her head no, she doesn’t really want to spend two dollars, and sets off across the street. The couple turns left, I cross the street and turn left as well, and Diamond continues down H Street in search of her donuts.

This, apparently, is not the end of my odd encounters for the evening.

A young woman and her mother get into the elevator at the hotel behind me, each carrying a number of shopping bags. As the elevator ascends, I ask the young woman where the Lush was.

“Georgetown,” she says.

I make a face of disappointment, because I know there’s no way I’m getting from the office to Georgetown anytime this week.

“You should go,” she says as I exit the elevator. “It was amazing. I met my soulmate.” The doors close on her with a soft ding, and I’m left to ponder the strange inevitability of meeting your soulmate in a cosmetics store.